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When Greg Karvonen collided with a deer while leaving Parkers Prairie on his motorcycle a few years ago he did not know he would spend 30 days in a coma - much less live to ride another day and help other people in the process. The frightened deer hit Karvonen broadside and that was that. Not only was Karvonen in the hospital for more than six weeks, the front part of his skull had to be removed by surgeons to allow his injured brain to swell.
Steve Riewer's Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale baseball crew crushed Park Rapids and Wadena-Deer Creek Monday in first round play at the Sub-District 6 Tournament in Menahga. The top-ranked BHV nine routed Park Rapids 9-1 in Monday's opener and then thumped No. 2 Wadena-Deer Creek 11-0 in five innings. Dakota Aeling earned the mound win against Park Rapids with six innings of work. Aeling gave up a run in the first but threw shutout ball for the next five frames. Aeling scattered four hits while walking two and fanning seven.
Kyle Dykhoff's Wadena-Deer Creek Legion team has drawn Pierz and Steve Riewer's Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale crew will face Cross Lake Thursday in the District 6, Division 2 American Legion baseball tournament at Menahga. The BHV-Cross Lake game is set for 10 a.m. The WDC-Pierz game kicks off at 12:30 p.m. In other first round games, the No. 2 team from the south plays the District 10 winner at 10 a.m. and Staples-Motley will face the No. 1 team out of the south at 12:30 p.m. Second round championship bracket play in the double elimination tournament will also be held Thursday.
Ethan Bakken, Jared Hoemberg and Patrick Riewer combined for 10 RBIs Thursday as the Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale Legion squad swept Walker-Hackensack-Akeley 12-4, 13-5 in a pair of five-inning games. Bakken and Hoemberg sparked the BHV attack in Game 1 with seven ribbies. Bakken joined teammates Dakota Aeling and Matt Fretham in hitting home runs. Bakken went 2-for-4 at the plate, scoring once and driving in four runs. Hoemberg tripled, drove in three runs and scored three times. Aeling recorded two hits, two runs and two RBIs.
Christian Berg went 3-for-4 at the plate as the Wadena-Deer Creek Legion Post 171 team tripped Park Rapids 12-9. Coming up with two hits apiece for Post 171 were Colter Pettit, Ryan Redfield and David Najjar. Redfield scored three times and Najjar drove in two runs. Chris Goplerud reached bases four times and scored twice. Dan Pike had an RBI-double. Paul Prenerost scored twice in the loss. Najjar went the first 5 1/3 innings on the mound for WDC and scattered four hits and three walks while fanning eight. Park Rapids came up with a three-run second to tie the game at 3-all.
So often in major league baseball it has come down to the right guy, the right trade -- the move that synchronizes and energizes the whole team. Eight years ago another underachieving Minnesota team was 10 games back in their division at the All-Star break. They had won the division title in 2002 and they had some talent but they were lacking a certain type of player. The Twins decided that what they needed was a veteran lead-off hitter, and they worked a July 16 trade for Toronto left fielder Shannon Stewart, who had already played eight seasons in the majors.
The Wadena-Deer Creek Post 171 team staged a big four-run fifth frame Tuesday to ice a 7-5 victory over Walker-Hackensack-Akeley. WDC was clinging to a 3-2 lead after four innings of play as Jonathan Goeden and Ben James hooked up in a tight pitching duel. Errors did the Walker club in as they blew four chances. Kyle Dykhoff's WDC crew was guilty of just one miscue. Christian Berg slammed a solo home run in the victory. Jake Krause went 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs. Ryan Redfield was 2-for-3 with two runs and three stolen bases.
Cory Odland went 4-for-5 and drove in three runs Tuesday night as the Park Rapids Legion whipped Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale 9-5. Park Rapids grabbed a 4-0 lead after two innings but BHV battled back to tie the game in the bottom of the fourth. A three-run fifth frame put Park Rapids on top for good. Steve Riewer's club came up with 10 hits. Patrick Riewer went 3-for-3 and scored twice. Jared Hoemberg drove in three runs with two safeties.
Tom Riitters was targeted for some good-natured kidding Monday night as he sat in on the June board meeting of District 818. Riitters officially joins the Verndale school system July 1 as their 5-12 principal. The former Little Falls teacher and administrator will take over a position held by Justin Sperling, who is going to an administrative job in Motley after serving District 818 as a coach, a teacher, a dean of students and a principal. Sperling was the K-12 principal at Verndale.
Jimmy White made the United States Air Force his life for 23 years and served his country all over the world. He is still serving it, but in a different way. White is the newly elected commander of VFW Post 3922 in Wadena.